Diga (Jesse James Gon) is bringing music from the new Digawolf album ‘Yellowstone’ to the Snowking festival stage Saturday.
“It’ll be the first time that the new songs got played with a full band set-up and actual instruments. We did some tryouts here and there, but that was acoustic and laid back. But tomorrow it’s supposed to be loud,” says producer on the album Yellowstone Jan de Vroede. Diga will share the stage with David Dowe (drums), Johnny Mackenzie (bass) and de Vroede, who is also producer of the album.
Diga and de Vroede met at a show in Vancouver. “I liked his style of playing and his sound,” Diga says. “We made a point of maybe someday doing a project together. And lo and behold I’m flying to Europe.”
They spent 30 days in the Danish countryside in May 2017, recording Yellowstone in a barn ‘surrounded by animals, by cows’ Diga laughs.
“I tried to do all of this without heading south. Living here and playing music and having your home here still,” Diga says of the motivation behind his career. “Yellowknife is always going to be there for me and I’m always going to be a part of Yellowknife.”
Born in Behchoko, Diga stays true to his roots by creating music in Tlicho. “There are a few tracks on the album where I just had to sing it in my language, simply because if you were to translate it in English the meaning is lost.”
De Vroede says he was inspired by the tracks in Tlicho as a producer.
“If you just do straightforward music with clearer lyrics about broken hearts and driving on the highway, it becomes a bit tedious and formulaic. Here you couldn’t really follow the actual lyrics as much as the overall mood.”
Yellowstone has gotten some great reviews since it was released. One in Exclaim! magazine called it a ‘modern Canadian masterpiece’. The same review says the title track Yellowstone is a ‘love song for the ages.’
Digawolf, together with Jan de Vroede, will play the opening night of the Snowking’s Winter Festival at the snow castle on Yellowknife Bay Saturday night. Digawolf follows a performance by Carmen Braden, together with Pat Braden and David Dowe. Castle doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts 9 p.m. sharp.